WorthPoint is in a unique position to be the major source for information for all manner of antiques and collectibles from Mickey Mouse watches to Louis XVI armoires. The ability to search through sales records of over 300 auction companies should itself be the first step in evaluating the value of your one item or entire collection. Or you can talk directly to a Worthologist, a recognized expert in the field, who will provide individual evaluations at any time. Once you have determined value, though, what if you wanted to sell it? Can WorthPoint help with that? Thom Pattie, chief Worthologist of WorthPoint, says yes.
Say you have a one of a kind Louis XVI armoire. You know it has a great value and you need to sell it as part of an estate, for example. “In the Premier Brokering process, we shepherd the item through the entire process from the person posting the question on Ask the Worthologist,” says Pattie, “telling them how to photograph the item and what kind of photographs we need. We submit those to the auction companies, get the replies back, establish their terms, and other things that we can do to add value for the member.”
And it works. Just ask Tammy of Boulder, Colo. She picked up this unusual cityscape painting from a dumpster while working as a property manager about 10 years ago. She kept it, but she doesn’t know why. After seeing a local station talking about WorthPoint, she wrote in to ask if her painting had value. To Pattie, a trained auctioneer for 40 years, it did; it most definitely did. Pattie placed a value of her dumpster painting at well over $10,000.
The artist, Takanori Oguiss, a landscape artist of the 1930s, has always sold well at auction, Pattie determined through initial research. Auction companies sent in bids of $40,000 to $60,000, but after further research, Pattie determined that Sotheby’s has sold most of his work over the years. With an auctioneer’s ease, he came back with a Sotheby’s estimate of $70,000 to $90,000. “The end result was—seven months later—the painting that was sitting in a closet for 10 years, sold at Sotheby’s for $103,000,” Pattie says.
Makes you wonder what’s been sitting in your closet, doesn’t it?
For all that work and expertise, there must have been a cost to Tammy. “WorthPoint does charge a premium to the member,” says Pattie. “In the Premium Brokering Plan, we have a contract agreement that takes them through every phase of what we’re doing. It explains the percentage, which is 5 percent of the gross selling price.” But, if the item doesn’t sell or doesn’t sell at the reserve, then the member is not charged by WorthPoint at all.
So, here are the steps for a successful brokering opportunity through WorthPoint: Send a detailed description of the item that includes lots of photographs and all the measurements; Provide as much provenance as possible through letters or stories as you know it.
With online auction sales to review, experts to talk to, and now an experienced brokerage system to help sell when its time, WorthPoint is the one place you can go to find the worth of your item, anytime.
Watch a video of Thom Pattie discussing WorthPoint’s consignment services here.
Tom Carrier is a general Worthologist, with an expertise in a wide variety of subjects.
WorthPoint: Get the Most from Your Antiques & Collectibles.